Luke Bolka's Grand Slam Highlights ECU's 8-4 Series Win Over La Salle
Luke Bolka’s grand slam homer in the third inning highlighted East Carolina’s 8-4 win over La Salle in game two to clinch the three-game weekend series Saturday afternoon in front of 3,737 in Clark-LeClair Stadium.
The Pirates got solid work on the mound from starter Jacob Wolfe who went five and a third innings, giving up just three runs in 63 pitches on Saturday.
Bolka’s bomb to right center field scored Spencer Brickhouse, Eric Tyler and Charlie Yorgan to give the Pirates a 5-0 cushion. Cliff Godwin said that was the turning point in the game.
“That’s crucial when you can put up a four spot like that and especially on a day like today. You never feel comfortable with a lead when the wind is blowing out like it was today.”
Bolka talked about his approach at the plate when he lit up the scoreboard with the grand slam.
“Obviously the bases were loaded and Coach told me to stay inside the ball and just make sure I got my best swing off unless I had two strikes,” Bolka said after the game, “He threw me a fast ball, I knew the wind was blowing out today, so obviously I wasn’t trying to force it out the right side. I just stayed inside the pitch like all the coaches have been helping me to do in practice and it flew."
East Carolina got on the scoreboard first when Travis Watkins homered in the second inning. Then Eric Tyler’s homer to right center highlighted the fifth inning for the Pirates. That gave East Carolina a 6-0 lead.
Yan Carlo Rivera’s three run shot in the sixth inning off of ECU pitcher Joe Wolfe got the Explorers back into the contest. Sam Lanier came on in relief of Wolfe to get the final two outs in the sixth frame.
“Jacob was phenomenal the first five innings. In the sixth he struggled with his command a little bit, said ECU head coach Cliff Godwin, “We thought we’d go to Sam Lanier and he did a tremendous job. Jake Agnos came in the last two innings and showed you what a talent he is. Obviously he is still refining his skill, but he’s a power left handed arm and he’s going to win a lot of games here."
With the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom the seventh, ECU was at it again when Wes Phillips’ double scored a pair of runs off of La Salle reliever Blake James to blow the game wide open and make the score 8-3.
La Salle scored one run in the bottom of the top of the ninth but it was too little, too late for the Explorers.
Yorgan, Tyler and Watkins all had a pair of hits for ECU. Jacob Wolfe got the win for East Carolina(3-3) while C.J. Pruitt took the loss for La Salle(0-6).